Christmas is coming and sailors of the world will splice the mainbrace, feast, and of course buy each other presents!
For the landlubber who knows that a friend or loved one is into sailing, it can be very hard to know what gift to buy them because they are generally strange to sailing and haven’t a clue what to buy that would be of use to the sailor.
We look at potential presents (at a range of budgets) that you can buy someone who is into sailing, gifts that they will definitely use, and hopefully cherish.
It may sound silly but most sailors appreciate the basic, useful things in life. The best sailing isn’t in mid summer with the sun blazing – it is generally in early autumn and mid Spring. This is when the best winds are, and people do get cold!
For the dinghy sailor, if your budget is low then consider buying a pair of neoprene sailing gloves. In cold weather, the hands will lose dexterity, but when warm they will be able to operate for the whole time they are out, enabling them to control the boat more easily.
If your friend is into yachting then consider buying a pair of fingerless sailing gloves. These will alleviate blistering as they pull on the ropes, but often improve their grip.
Another affordable thing to buy is a woolly hat or a balaclava. Research consistently shows that the head is the main part of the body to lose heat when it is cold. If you get very cold at sea it could be dangerous. Unless they physically look like Captain Birdseye then forget the peaked cap as most likely you’ll get a polite smile and never see them wearing it!
No one likes having cold feet, so consider getting them some good quality walking socks.
If your sailor friend is a little more special or you can afford a few hundred US dollars then consider something a little more adventurous.
If they’ve seen the Volvo Ocean Race and are so excited they keep talking about it, but to your knowledge haven’t set foot on a boat before, then consider paying for an introductory sailing course.
Have a look at the free eBook we have just published for an idea of what to buy them. The eBook, Learning to Sail: A Beginner’s Guide to Sailing Course Qualifications, Regulations and Licenses, describes the best way to get your wannabe sailing fanatic on the water, whether on their local sailing lake or off the coast. The wannabe may be 8 years old or 80 – it is never too early or late to learn!
There will of course be some expense required to enable to stay afloat once they have shown that they are into it.
For the dinghy sailor, consider getting them a wetsuit – these can cost as little as $100 (£60) but as with all things in sailing, you can buy them the gear for almost any budget you choose!
Again, for the wannabe yachtsman they will always be grateful if you gave them a new sailing jacket. Even in warmer climes, it gets cold with a bit of spray and a good wind.
If they’re planning something a little more adventurous then consider an offshore sailing suit to include salopettes and good jacket. A good set at a low budget can be $500 (£300) and up.
For he or she who has everything, then perhaps give them an adventure that they won’t forget. Most sailors are fascinated by sailing ships, and tall ships all over the world take people on sail training holidays.
You might send them for a trip up the coast or perhaps across the Atlantic or Pacific for an adventure beyond compare – look at the Sail Training International website for an idea as to what ship is going when and where.
If they’ve been crewing someone else’s boat for a while then perhaps help them get a boat of their own? You can buy a good quality sailing dinghy for £1000 ($1500) that they can use whenever they want and finally get the freedom of the sea they dreamed about when they started out…
To get the best smile from your sailing friend or loved one, have a chat with them first to learn roughly what they do. The bigger your budget, the more careful you should be as getting them something very expensive that they don’t use can be very disappointing for the pair of you.
Remember at Christmas, it is the thought that counts, and buying a yacht sailor a thermal hat would be far more useful to them than a high end dinghy wetsuit!
What present(s) have you bought a sailor in the past? Let us know in the comments below.